Folliculo-stellate cells of "true dendritic" type are involved in the inflammatory microenvironment of tumor immunosurveillance of pituitary adenomas

Vajtai, Istvan; Kappeler, Andreas; Sahli, Rahel (2007). Folliculo-stellate cells of "true dendritic" type are involved in the inflammatory microenvironment of tumor immunosurveillance of pituitary adenomas. Diagnostic pathology, 2, p. 20. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1746-1596-2-20

2.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (839kB) | Preview

Folliculo-stellate cells are a nonendocrine, sustentacular-like complementary population of the anterior pituitary. They currently are considered as functionally and phenotypically heterogeneous, with one subpopulation of folliculo-stellate cells possibly representing resident adenohypophyseal macrophages. We took advantage of a limited T-cell mediated inflammatory reaction selectively involving tumor tissue in three cases of pituitary adenoma (2 prolactin cell adenomas, and 1 null cell adenoma) to test the hypothesis whether some folliculo-stellate cells within inflammatory foci would also assume monocytic/dendritic properties. Immunohistochemical double labeling for S-100 protein and the class II major histocompatibility antigen HLA-DR indeed showed several arborized cells to coexpress both epitopes. These were distributed both amidst adenomatous acini and along intratumoral vessels, and were morphologically undistinguishable from conventional folliculo-stellate cells. On the other hand, markers of follicular dendritic cells (CD21) and Langerhans' cells (CD1a) tested negative. Furthermore, no S-100/HLA-DR coexpressing folliculo-stellate cells were seen in either peritumoral parenchyma of the cases in point nor in control pituitary adenomas lacking inflammatory reaction. These findings suggest that a subset of folliculo-stellate cells may be induced by an appropriate local inflammatory microenvironment to assume a dendritic cell-like immunophenotype recognizable by their coexpression of S-100 protein and HLA-DR. By analogy with HLA-DR expressing cells in well-established extrapituitary inflammatory constellations, we speculate that folliculo-stellate cells with such immunophenotype may actually perform professional antigen presentation. A distinctly uncommon finding in pituitary adenomas, lymphocytic infiltrates may therefore be read as a manifestation of tumoral immunosurveillance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition

UniBE Contributor:

Vajtai, Istvan, Kappeler, Andreas, Sahli, Rahel Gerda






BioMed Central




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


Additional Information:

Elektronische Publikation



URI: (FactScience: 35756)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback